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NATO Unfazed by Belarus Leader’s Claims, Sees No Shift in Russian Nuclear Position

by Lucas Garcia
7 comments
Russia's nuclear posture

Despite claims from the leader of Belarus, NATO has observed no alterations to Russia’s stance on nuclear affairs, according to the alliance’s chief, who spoke on Thursday. These comments come after President Alexander Lukashenko proclaimed that Belarus has already received tactical nuclear weapons from Moscow.

In a recent broadcast on state-run television, Lukashenko confidently threatened that he wouldn’t shy away from deploying these weapons should Belarus be confronted with an act of aggression. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the weapons would be stationed in Belarus the following month, but they will exclusively remain under Moscow’s command.

“We are undoubtedly keeping a keen eye on Russia’s actions. As of now, we’ve not observed any shifts in their nuclear stance that would necessitate a modification in our position,” stated Stoltenberg as he addressed the press before presiding over a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, the alliance’s main base.

A meeting of NATO’s covert nuclear defense planning team is set to take place on Friday. While the meeting was scheduled well in advance and isn’t a direct response to recent occurrences, the alliance is apprehensive about Putin’s intimidations and his choices to withdraw Russia from significant arms control treaties.

Stoltenberg voiced his concern over Russia’s nuclear discourse stating, “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric and messaging is irresponsible and hazardous. Russia needs to understand that a nuclear war is unwinnable and should never be waged.” He also pointed out that “Russia has substantially invested in and deployed new modern nuclear capabilities, some of which are situated close to NATO territories, like in the high north for instance.”

Earlier in the year, Putin made public plans to station short-range nuclear weapons in Belarus, Russia’s neighbor and ally. This move is widely interpreted as a warning to the West, especially with its increasing military aid to Ukraine. Additionally, Russia has been leveraging Belarus as a launch pad for assaults in Ukraine.

During an interaction with Lukashenko on Friday, Putin mentioned that the facilities for the weapons are expected to be operational by July 7-8, with a swift transfer to Belarusian territory to follow.

U.S. President Joe Biden, along with his NATO peers, is set to attend a summit on July 11-12 in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. The location is notably close to the Belarus border, only about 35 kilometers (22 miles) away.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Russia’s nuclear posture

Has NATO observed any change in Russia’s nuclear stance?

No, NATO has stated that it has observed no alterations to Russia’s stance on nuclear affairs, despite claims from the leader of Belarus that the country has received tactical nuclear weapons from Moscow.

What has Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko claimed?

President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed that Belarus has already received tactical nuclear weapons from Moscow. He also stated that he would not hesitate to use these weapons if Belarus faced an act of aggression.

What are the plans of Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the deployment of weapons?

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the weapons received by Belarus will be stationed there in the following month, but they will exclusively remain under Moscow’s command.

What is NATO’s reaction to Russia’s nuclear rhetoric?

NATO’s chief, Jens Stoltenberg, voiced concern over Russia’s nuclear rhetoric, labeling it as irresponsible and hazardous. He emphasized that Russia must understand that a nuclear war is unwinnable and should never be waged.

What is Russia’s strategic use of Belarus in the context of Ukraine?

Russia has been leveraging Belarus as a launch pad for assaults in Ukraine. Additionally, Putin’s announcement of stationing short-range nuclear weapons in Belarus is widely interpreted as a warning to the West as it increases military aid to Ukraine.

What are the upcoming key diplomatic events related to this issue?

U.S. President Joe Biden, along with his NATO peers, is set to attend a summit on July 11-12 in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. This location is notably close to the Belarus border.

More about Russia’s nuclear posture

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7 comments

John Doe June 17, 2023 - 3:31 am

can’t belive what Lukashenko is saying, he’s ready to play with fire, huh?!

Reply
OliverTwist23 June 17, 2023 - 6:43 am

let’s just hope all this is only empty threats, i’m tired of all these war talks…

Reply
SophiaL June 17, 2023 - 7:33 am

Wait, Putin plans to keep control of those weapons even if they’re in Belarus? Doesn’t sound right…

Reply
Mike_Strong June 17, 2023 - 10:08 am

What’s up with the summit in Vilnius? Hope it helps defuse the situation a bit, we need some peace talks.

Reply
Natalie S June 17, 2023 - 11:56 am

It’s scary to think that Russia has these weapons so close to NATO borders. Stay safe everyone!!

Reply
David_93 June 17, 2023 - 7:43 pm

Putin and Lukashenko…a pair made for each other. Not sure what to expect next.

Reply
Alice in Wonderland June 17, 2023 - 11:45 pm

these leaders don’t seem to get it, do they? Nuclear war is not a game.

Reply

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